How would you grade your content?
One of the top needs among our clients and prospective clients is the need to produce compelling content. This includes social media channels, blogs, white papers, and article submissions, as well as your own website.
Why you need content.
Content brings education, ideas and context to people who may be interested in the products and services of our clients- without selling. It’s creating and nurturing potential business- both short and long term through thought leadership. Content also enables our potential clients and customers to find us online.
Remember the adage: “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door?” That’s no longer true. It is now “build a better mousetrap with a great website that people can find through content and the world will order the mousetrap online or find your store, research it, and buy it when they are ready.”
5 steps to create content:
Who is your customer? According to HubSpot, creating personas or semi-fictional representations of typical customers or clients can assist in creating content tailored to your customer’s needs- which creates strategic content that drives results. You speak the language of this persona, talk about what they are interested in, and provide this persona with solutions, they will often respond by converting into an actual buyer of your product or service.
Do your research
In order to speak the language of your consumer and answer their questions, you need to do your homework. There are many methods to get this done. They include:
- Qualitative research such as Scarborough, Simmons or MRI which can offer insights as to age groups, lifestyle characteristics, interests, and media profiles.
- Online surveys such as Survey Monkey, where you can ask questions and tabulate the answers to get general information on customers. This can be done with current customers or non customers. No more than four to six questions are recommended. Prizes or incentives can also be helpful to build participation.
- Man on the street interviews are great ways to observe our customers and potential customers on tape. They can be especially helpful if you want to impart this information visually to your counterparts.
- Telephone surveys can be helpful in asking open-ended questions like “why” people feel the way they do. This can be helpful in accurate persona building and our understanding about what motivates our customers and potential customers.
- Focus Groups can provide a similar glimpse into consumer’s behavior but also adds group dynamics into the equation which shows how our customers operate in a group setting.
Take what you learn from the research and create a content calendar, for each persona
One of the most challenging elements to beginning a content campaign or refining an existing one is coming up with the story ideas relevant to the personas’ wants and needs. This allows our clients to “broadcast” their own messages with a synergy among their blogs, social media and website. This also allows a certain structure that gets the content writers from thinking about content to writing and completing it.
Continue to hone and improve content
Become a reader of other industry blogs. The Content Marketing Institute publishes a library of material on the subject. Also, apps like Flipboard give readers the option of reviewing blogs by subjects like branding, business, anthropology, etc.
Look at the analytics
See what resonates among your personas. Review Google Analytics to see which blogs drive traffic to your site and how long they stay. Other tools include:
- BuzzSumo– which allows you to search for performing content by keyword.
- Followerwonk– which allows you to search Twitter buyers for keyswords. It also allows the user to see what keywords your followers and your competing brands have in common.
- Quora– This is actually a social network where you can ask questions, have discussions, and flag trends based on the conversation.
Content is like exercise. It becomes easier as you are conditioned to do it on a regular basis.
Rosaria Cain is CEO of knoodle. She also oversees the media of all knoodle clients, which include Fulton Homes, El Sol Foods, and Central Arizona Project.